nutcroft

On the essence of decisions and hope

What is a decision and why does it matter?

I.

One could claim that decisions do not matter insofar they are not actions. Decisions are not facts. They are just something someone said and maybe someone else (and even everybody else) agreed; yet they are not something that happened in reality.

There is a United Nations climate change conference that's happening every year since 1995. Numerous decisions are made there, among the most powerful people in the world. However, no meaningful action is taken to make these decisions reality.

What is the essence of decisions? Decisions are intentions. A decision is an intent to act. It's not an action itself; however, it is something of equal importance. It is the conscious aim to change something. “Change” in a way that presupposes a subject. It is I who decides X.

Intention is beyond desire. It’s desire plus something else. Desire is something abstract. I want X, whatever X is. I may want a car, I may want love, I may want coffee. Desire entails neither intention nor action.

Intention is a prelude to action. One may intent to act before they do. Action implies a subject already exists — the subject that will take the action. A subject implies consciousness — in the sense that we need consciousness to have subjective experiences (qualia). Therefore, intent presupposes consciousness.

I claim: collective intent, i.e. collective decisions, presuppose collective consciousness.

II.

Hope is the blind faith that things will change in ways one desires in an undefined point in the future.

Hope is orthogonal to decisions. Hope is orthogonal to actions, too.

Hope is a consciousness-native gift. We might choose to hope, i.e. choose to think in a specific way; a way that is possible purely because of how a consciousness thinks and acts. If we do choose to hope, we might get something back (the fulfillment of our desire) but in no case something is taken from us. This is why hope is a gift; it can never be part of a transaction. And yet: one can reject a gift and when that happens it’s because of ego. Ego is not advised.

One can hope things will change for the better but this doesn't mean the aforementioned one will take action to change the things for the better themselves. Similarly, if one has no hope and a second someone changes things for the better, things did change for the first one even without hope. Even further from the idea that things change only if one is hopeful: no one may do nothing yet rain may still fall in the desert and plants may do bloom due to unexpected natural forces.

Conclusion:

(a) The world doesn't care if one is hopeful. Change will happen anyway.

(b) Hope is a gift and a gift does not necessitate a gift in return (even if it might suggest one). Hope in no way necessitates ensuing action or change.

(c) Hope might evolve into intent. Intent might evolve into action. Action brings change.

Want to be hopeful? Sure, no pressure — it’s free anyway. Might even help the world one day.


Previously in the series: An ontology of hope

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